Global spending in the metaverse could reach $5 trillion by 2030, according to a new report from international consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
Published yesterday, the 77-page report titled “Value Creation in the Metaverse” analyzed current adoption trends and drew additional insight from two global surveys; one gathered data from 3,104 consumers across 11 countries, while the other polled a range of executives from 448 companies across 15 industries in 10 different countries.
McKinsey used this data to predict that the future of consumer behavior in the metaverse will most likely be divided into five primary activities: gaming, socializing, fitness, commerce and remote learning.
McKinsey found that nearly 60% of all consumers surveyed prefer at least one activity in the virtual world compared to its physical alternative, and 79% of consumers that are currently active in the metaverse have already made a purchase.
E-commerce will be the primary cash cow in the metaverse, with McKinsey predicting it to make up anywhere from $2 trillion to $2.6 trillion of all spending by 2030. Virtual advertising will be another major sector, with associated revenue expected to make up another $144 billion to $206 billion.
Flying in the face of the current pessimism in the conventional crypto market, the report highlights that in the first five months of this year, more than $120 billion has already been invested into metaverse-related technology and infrastructure — more than double the total $57 billion invested in metaverse tech throughout the entirety of 2021.
In an associated blog post, the lead authors of the report and McKinsey senior partners, Lareina Yee and Eric Hazan, gave additional comments on their research.
“What’s exciting is that the metaverse, like the internet, is the next platform on which we can work, live, connect, and collaborate.”
Speaking about the response from executives, Yee added, “Executives often don’t agree on very much, but our research shows they overwhelmingly agree on one thing: 95% of them believe the metaverse will have a positive impact on their industry.”
The report added that 25% of all executives said they expect the metaverse to drive 15% of their organization’s total margin growth in five years and nearly a third of them believe that the metaverse can bring significant change in how their industry operates.
Despite the overall enthusiasm, there was still a healthy dose of skepticism, with 31% of all executives remaining somewhat uncertain about the return on investment of metaverse experiences.
While brands should be excited about the opportunities awaiting them in the metaverse, they should also be ready to face challenges head on and do some serious planning, said Hazan.
“There are urgent challenges that need to be considered. For one, there’s going to be a need to reskill part of the workforce to take advantage of, rather than compete with, the metaverse. Stakeholders will need to build a roadmap to make sure the metaverse experience is ethical, safe and inclusive.”
Yee wrapped up her commentary by re-emphasizing that the metaverse is still very much a dynamic and evolving space. She said that individual creators and big brands alike need to embrace a long-term mindset if they want to be successful in the future of the metaverse.